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Turkey's ruling party meets to confirm Davutoglu as Erdogan successor

Turkey's president-elect Erdogan plans to ask his successor as prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, to form a government and announce a new cabinet by the week's end. Erdogan's AK Party is meeting to elect its new leader.

Ahead of a special congress of Turkey's leading Justice and Development (AK) party on Wednesday, the country's President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured right) outlined his plans for the handover of the party leadership and prime minister's role to current Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (pictured left).

"God willing, we will give Davutoglu the mandate to form the government tomorrow, and the new cabinet will be announced on Friday," Erdogan told supporters ahead of the congress, being held at a sports arena in the capital, Ankara.

The congress, expected to attract about 40,000 people, is seen as a largely ceremonial affair following Erdogan's victory in Turkey's first-ever direct presidential elections on August 10. He has been Turkey's prime minister for more than a decade.

Davutoglu is the only candidate put forward to succeed Erdogan and his candidacy was

agreed by the party's executive

last week.

Powerful role

Erdogan, who entered the arena to a rockstar-style welcome alongside his wife Emine, is due to be officially sworn in as president on Thursday. He threw red carnations into the crowd as a song about him was played.

As president, he

is expected to wield more power

than his predecessors in what was traditionally a largely ceremonial post. The choice of strong ally Davutoglu for the premiership is viewed as reflecting that. Davutoglu has been an adviser to Erdogan since 2003 and foreign minister since 2009.

Still to be revealed is who will hold the top jobs in Davutoglu's new Cabinet, with local media reports tipping Hakan Fidan, the current head of Turkey's intelligence services, to be a possible new foreign minister.

se/slk (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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